Plenty of big names and legendary artists are scheduled to perform over the next few weeks, including Dua Lipa, Imagine Dragons, Flogging Molly, and Judas Priest.
There will also be festivals practically every weekend, from such old favorites as Blues Blast making a return and new fests like Punk in Drublic and Desert Roots making a debut.
Read on for a rundown of the biggest and best concerts and gigs happening in the Valley in March 2022. (You can also check out Phoenix New Times’ online listings for even more live music this month.)
Also, be aware that despite COVID-19 case numbers dropping significantly in recent weeks, many venues are still mandating proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result to attend concerts. Be sure to check ticketing websites before you go to keep abreast of entry requirements.
Earl Sweatshirt and Action Bronson at Marquee TheatreCo-headlining a tour with Action Bronson, Odd Future alumnus Earl Sweatshirt has been something of an enigmatic figure in hip-hop since his teens. The rapper was sent to a Samoan reform school after his mom found out about his involvement with the hip-hop collective, and he returned a changed musician. Sweatshirt’s debut Doris surprised many critics with its intensely introspective songwriting and gritty production, noting that his subdued voice stood out in its emotional density. By the time he released 2015’s I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside, he had completely left his past with Odd Future behind. During the pandemic, Sweatshirt went to work on his latest album SICK!, a short, 10-song meditation on the global chaos surrounding the coronavirus. His show at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe, with Action Bronson on Thursday, March 3, also features The Alchemist and Boldy James. General admission tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $60 and balcony access is $80. David Fletcher
Bob Dylan at Arizona Federal TheatreIn 2020, music legend Bob Dylan sold his entire catalog of work to Universal in a record-breaking deal that reportedly cost over $300 million and included over 600 songs. Even that much might even feel a bit low when considering the unparalleled impact Dylan has had on pop culture over the past six decades; the Minnesota native rose in the midst of a changing nation in the 1960s and became the unexpected face of a movement. Dylan’s work has informed, inspired, and become part of the culture throughout his career to the point that he’s almost taken for granted as an American institution. He isn’t showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon. His most recent album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, came out in 2020 and, after a two-year delay because of the pandemic, he’s resuming his Never Ending Tour. Dylan’s scheduled to visit Arizona Federal Theatre, 401 West Washington Street, on Thursday, March 3, for his first Valley performance since 2018. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert start at $49.59. Liam Gaughan
Injury Reserve at The Van BurenLocal fans of Injury Reserve will finally get to see the long-awaited (and twice-postponed) hometown performance by the Tempe-born hip-hop act, as the duo of rapper Ritchie With a T and producer Parker Corey will take the stage at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Friday, March 4. Fittingly, the show and Injury Reserve’s latest tour are in support of their new album, By the Time I Get to Phoenix. It’s the first music they’ve released since founding member Stepa J. Groggs died in June 2020. The album was reportedly recorded before the rapper’s passing and will feature his contributions. The show starts at 8 p.m. and local psychedelic cumbia group Los Esplifs opens. Tickets are $22 to $25. Benjamin Leatherman
M3F 2022 at Margaret T. Hance Park
Springtime music festival M3F is back after a two-year absence and the weekend-long event’s 2022 lineup is as loaded as ever. It promises two days of good tunes blasting from booming sound systems, drum circles, food trucks, and plenty of vendors over the first weekend of March at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1200 North First Street. This year’s roster of performers is topped by electronic dance music DJ/producers ZHU, Kaytranada, and Jungle, as well as soul singer-songwriter Leon Bridges, electro-pop band A R I Z O N A, hip-hop artist Bryce Vine, and local jam band Spafford. The rest of the lineup leans heavily on EDM-oriented artists like Elderbrook, Whethan, Surf Mesa, and Blu DeTiger, but also includes indie performer Goth Babe, R&B/hip-hop singer Cautious Clay, and pop artist Bea Miller. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 4, and 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 5. General admission is $85 to $145 and "VIP+" tickets are $275 to $410. Amy Young and Benjamin Leatherman
Body Language Music Festival in Downtown TempeThe area of Fifth Street and Maple Avenue in downtown Tempe will become an outdoor wonderland of techno, house, and underground sounds during this three-day electronic dance music event put on by local promoter Relentless Beats from Friday, March 4, to Sunday, March 6. More than 30 different DJs and EDM artists are scheduled to drop beats throughout the weekend, including headliners Claptone, Carl Cox, Boris Brejcha, Adam Beyer, and Kaskade (who will perform one of his throwback “Redux” sets). The rest of the lineup will include such names as Wax Motif, VNSSA, Malaa, Dombresky, Noizu, Gene Farris, Walker & Royce, Kasablanca, and Lee Foss. Gates open at 2 p.m. each day. General admission is $99 to $259 and VIP tickets start at $379. Benjamin Leatherman
The Sword at Crescent BallroomUpon their emergence from the very loudest corners of the music scene in Austin, Texas, almost two decades ago, the Sword were decried by quite a few around the country as a gimmick band, merely aping the monolithic riffage of Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy. The conventional wisdom was that the nostalgia couldn’t last. Seven albums later, the Sword has put that sort of thinking to rest. Now a stalwart of American heavy metal, the group has helped inspire a new wave of interest in throwback guitar thunder. And whenever they play Phoenix, their fans turn out in earnest. See for yourself when The Sword performs at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, on Sunday, March 6. Prog-rock duo Zombi opens the 9 p.m. gig. Admission is $25.50. Nathan Smith
Bad Bunny at Footprint Center
So few Spanish-speaking artists have captured the nation's attention like Bad Bunny. In just two years' time, the Puerto Rican singer has gone from "Who was that guy performing with J.Lo at the Super Bowl?" to selling out arenas across the country, including his upcoming concert at Footprint Center, 201 East Jefferson Street, on Sunday, March 6. (Don't worry, there are still verified resale tickets available if you haven't gotten yours, but it'll cost you at least a couple hundred to get in.) Bad Bunny was not an overnight success, however. The Latin trap artist had been doing features with rappers like Drake and Cardi B in the years leading up to his Super Bowl appearance. Even before that Bad Bunny made 15 appearances as a featured artist on Billboard's Hot Latin Song charts in 2017 alone working with the likes of reggaeton superstars J. Balvin, Karol G, Ozuna, and many more. Bad Bunny is touring in support of his 2020 album, El Último Tour del Mundo, which was the first entirely Spanish-language album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. David Fletcher
Cordae at The Van BurenFormerly a member of the YBN collective, Cordae Dunston, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, has been pitched as a missing link between the dusty old school of rap and its colorful, youthful present. He’s had a quick rise since he began pursuing music in earnest in 2018, freestyling over songs like Eminem’s “My Name Is” and Kendrick Lamar’s “DUCKWORTH.,” responding to J. Cole’s “1985” on “Old N*ggaz,” touring with Juice Wrld, and performing as part of YBN in Europe and at Rolling Loud in Miami. Since the collective disbanded in 2020, he’s released an EP (Just Until) and put out his second studio album, From A Birds Eye View, earlier this year, which Cordae has stated is “really taking everything to a whole 'nother level.” He’s returning to the Valley this month for a gig on Sunday, March 6, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. R&B/hip-hop artist Justine Skye shares the bill. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $27.50 to $30. Douglas Markowitz and Benjamin Leatherman
Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival at Tumbleweed ParkThe music festival season is upon us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up a bit. Check out this year’s Chandler Ostrich Festival at Tumbleweed Park, 745 East Germann Road in Chandler, during its two-weekend run from Friday, March 11, to Sunday, March 13, and from Friday, March 18, to Sunday, March 18. Start by visiting the ostrich exhibit and then head for the event’s other highlights including more than 40 rides, including classics like carousels and Ferris wheels, plus animal, art, science, and circus attractions. There will also be outdoor concerts headlined by big-ticket artists each night. The schedule will include Uncle Kracker and The Band Perry on March 11; Walker Hayes on Saturday, March 12; Flo Rida on March 13; The Beach Boys on March 18; Nelly on Saturday, March 19; and The Temptations and The Four Tops on March 20. Performance times vary. Tickets are $15. Lynn Trimble and Benjamin Leatherman
Hippie Sabotage at The Van BurenHippie Sabotage is an EDM duo that comprises Saurer brothers Kevin and Jeff. They first earned attention after their remix of Tove Lo's "Habits (Stay High)" racked up almost a billion views on YouTube and have paved their own way ever since. Projecting confident swagger, their sound is a mix of hip-hop flourishes and chill grooves that gets crowds moving. The Saurers' performances seem as interactive as you can get. Kevin spends time roaming among the crowds and both of the brothers appear to be having a lot of fun, recognizing that part of their success so far is based on their connection with people beyond the music. They’re due in the Valley on Friday, March 11, for a performance at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Doors are at 9 p.m. and Daisy Guttridge opens. Admission is $29 to $33. Tom Murphy
The Darkness at Marquee Theatre
U.K.-based rock act The Darkness made an enormous splash with its 2003 debut album, Permission to Land, which featured the hit single “I Believe In a Thing Called Love.” The band’s brash and theatrical performance style and music sounded like they could have existed alongside bombastic '70s rock bands like Queen and AC/DC. But bassist Frankie Poullain has stated that he and lead vocalist Justin Hawkins bonded over their love of '80s and early '90s alternative bands including My Bloody Valentine, Suede and the Smiths. And it’s that unexpected depth of influences, not to mention their spirit of over-the-top fun, that have separated The Darkness from other bands that have tried to mine the sound and spirit of the classic rock era. They’ve released a half-dozen other albums since then, including 2021’s Motorheart, and are scheduled to perform at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, on Saturday, March 12. All-female rock band The Dead Deads open the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $30.50 for general admission and $40 to $50 for balcony access. Tom Murphy
Imagine Dragons at Footprint CenterOn Monday, pop-rockers Imagine Dragons bring their 51-city Mercury Tour to Footprint Center, 201 East Jefferson Street, in support of their fifth studio album, Mercury – Act 1. While there's no denying the catchiness of some of Imagine Dragon's songs, the thought that the arena could be filled with cheering fans unironically belting "Thunder, feel the thunder/Thunder, lighting then the thunder (thunder, thunder)" seems far-fetched. The group — Dan Reynolds, Daniel Wayne Sermon, Ben McKee, and Daniel Platzman — has had no shortage of success. Imagine Dragons have won three American Music Awards, 11 Billboard Music Awards, and a Grammy. Their top charters include "Radioactive," "Thunder," and "Believer." MØ opens the 7 p.m. concert. Tickets start at $34.50. Emmalyse Brownstein
DeVotchKa at Musical Instrument MuseumDeVotchKa have been viewed as curious outsiders for the bulk of their career because of their unorthodox instrumentation and their deliberate, unlikely melding of disparate styles. Ambitious music scribes have crafted effusive similes invoking terms such as "exotic" and "worldly,” but the long-running ensemble, now in its 25th year of existence, is emblematic of the diverse cultural fusion this country was built upon. Boasting their original lineup of Nick Urata, Tom Hagerman, Jeanie Schroder, and Shawn King (each of whom plays a diverse selection of instruments) will fittingly perform their latest Valley show at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard, on Monday, March 14. Tickets for the 7 p.m. concert are $33.50 to $44.50. Dave Herrera
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats at Crescent Ballroom
UK-born act Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats are a ’70s throwback band from across the pond that brings to mind genre progenitors like Pentagram and stoner-rock-era Black Sabbath. They don’t offer any trailblazing new sounds, but rather makes a point of mining the best out of late-’60s and early-’70s hard rock, an era when bands were in a never-ending battle to one-up each other’s heaviness. Uncle Acid is able to pluck the best of these experiments and toss them in a cauldron, thickening up their potion until what remains is a sludgy, fuzzy delight. Their latest tour comes to Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, on Tuesday, March 15, with support from psych-rockers King Buffalo. The show is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $35. David Accomazzo
Flogging Molly at Marquee TheatreThe folky punk rock of Flogging Molly will come back to Tempe’s Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, on Tuesday, March 15, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Something works just right with this seven-piece band led by hair metal survivor Dave King. The band's most recent LP, Life Is Good, fits right in with their Pogues-style sound. Whether you're trying to stay on the wagon or the wagon isn't on your radar, alcohol isn't necessary to enjoy songs like "Drunken Lullabies" or "What's Left of the Flag." Just bring yourself and prepare to sweat from jumping up and down and lots of clap-alongs in their repertoire. Austrian ska-punk band Russkaja and alt-country act Vandoliers open the 7 p.m. show. General admission tickets are $45, balcony access is $75 to $85, and a VIP package is $149. Eric Grubbs
Judas Priest at Arizona Federal TheatreJudas Priest has been hitting it hard for more than 50 years. The band of leather-wearing British metal gods helped define the genre in the ’80s with albums like Screaming For Vengeance and British Steel. Though he left the band for a few years back in the ’90s, frontman (and Phoenix resident) Rob Halford’s high-pitched, operatic screams have been a staple of their signature sound since the beginning. Today, they continue to keep the genre alive by continuing to release new albums (their most recent is 2018’s Firepower) and providing killer, headbanging performances. Judas Priest is a force to be reckoned with that cannot be stopped. Their concert on Wednesday, March 16, at Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, gets going at 7:30 p.m. and Queensrÿche shares the bill. Tickets start at $68.50. Jacob Vaughn
Black Violin at Mesa Arts CenterViolinist Kev Marcus and viola player Wil B. got their start doing hip-hop covers, but after winning at the Apollo in Harlem back in 2005, in front of a notoriously demanding crowd, they knew they were developing a winning formula. Their mix of hip-hop and classical caught the ear of Alicia Keys, who invited them to play alongside her at the Billboard Awards. Marcus and B have also collaborated with Wu-Tang and Linkin Park, all while touring 200 cities a year. Black Violin even had the honor of playing for the first family at President Obama's second inauguration in 2013. In 2015, the duo released Stereotypes, which explores the limits of their musical tools and promoted social consciousness, ‘cause music is so much better when it has a soul. Style and substance, always a winning combination. Black Violin is still touring in support of their 2020 album, Give Thanks, and will return to the Valley on Wednesday, March 16, for a performance at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street. It starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $40 to $65. Liz Tracy
Gang of Four at Last Exit LivePost-punk since the '90s has been largely shaped by the music of two bands: Joy Division and Gang of Four. The furious energy, disciplined songwriting, and angular guitar work of Gang of Four are clear and direct influences on the likes of the Faint, the Rapture, and every band that has identified as “dance-punk.” From its 1979 full-length debut Entertainment! through its most recent album, 2019's Happy Now, Gang of Four have produced an ever-evolving series of records that take aim at social ills and personal dilemmas with great humor and insight into bigger-picture issues.
There’s nothing dour or downbeat about most Gang of Four songs. Rather, the group sounds celebratory and even triumphant in its social critique. As a live band, they’ve delivered a fascinating and powerful set of contrasts: angular yet explosive guitar work, guitarist Andy Gill's stoic demeanor and the various singers' expressive stage presence, thoughtfulness of tone informed by sublimated disappointment and rage. Those feelings of frustration with society have continued through today. Hear it for yourself when Gang of Four comes to Last Exit Live, 717 South Central Avenue, on Friday, March 18. Tickets for the 8:30 p.m. concert are $25 in advance, $27 at the door. Tom Murphy
Punk in Drublic Festival at Bell Bank ParkAttention those in ownership of NOFX stickers, patches, ratty T-shirts, and beat-up CDs: The Punk in Drublic Craft Beer and Music Festival returns to the Valley on Saturday, March 19. Headlined by NOFX and co-founded by frontman, Fat Wreck Chords founder, and DIY icon Fat Mike, the 21-and-over outdoor event will take place at Mesa’s Bell Bank Park, 1 Legacy Drive. The lineup also includes sets by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Bouncing Souls, Lagwagon, The Last Gang, Authority Zero, and The Venomous Pinks. The point of the festival – other than to check out rad bands and see who’s still rocking an egg-white Mohawk – is to try the Stone Brewing and NOFX Punk in Drublic Hoppy Lager and other craft brews (your ticket gets you unlimited beer tastings from noon to 3 p.m.). The festival goes until 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $45 to $65 and VIP is $99 to $125. Lauren Cusimano
Blues Blast 2022 at The Rhythm RoomThis annual outdoor festival put on by the Phoenix Blues Society since the ‘90s has endured a number of speed bumps in recent years. Back in 2020, it was renamed the Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival before ultimately being canceled because of the pandemic. (Organizers also wound up scrapping last year’s edition for the same reasons.) After a two-year hiatus, the festival will make its return on Saturday, March 19, under its longtime moniker of Blues Blast and will fill the air at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School Road, with down-home sounds from a full slate of local and touring artists. Headliners will include Mississippi-born blues guitar and singer Zac Harmon and Kansas City singer-songwriter Amanda Fish while the rest of the lineup will feature such local performers as CROS and Leon J. The festival starts at 10 a.m. and tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the event. Benjamin Leatherman
Dua Lipa at Footprint CenterIn the four years since Dua Lipa last performed in Phoenix, the British pop star's career has skyrocketed beyond even the wildest expectations. She's been everywhere — from British Vogue covers to the Grammys stage to the Versace runway — and for good reason: Future Nostalgia, the 2020 follow-up to her 2017's self-titled debut dominated charts and swept awards. With inspirations ranging from Europop and 2000s dance to funk and disco, the album proved an instant classic, expertly toeing the line between influence and innovation, all while remaining endlessly listenable. Released shortly after pandemic lockdowns began, her sophomore effort was critically acclaimed and soon became a hit, reaching certified platinum status in the U.S. by March 2021 — a feat no doubt aided by the public's pandemic- and lockdown-induced thirst for something upbeat and danceable. Lipa stops at Footprint Center, 201 East Jefferson Street, on Sunday, March 20, with rapper Megan Thee Stallion and the witchy Caroline Polachek as opening acts. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert start at $64.50. Sofia Andrade
Bahamas at Crescent Ballroom
Toronto-based singer-songwriter Afie Jurvanen, better known as Bahamas, will return to the Valley this month to play Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, on Tuesday, March 22. He’s touring in support of 2020’s Sad Hunk, his fifth studio album, which earned good reviews and won awards in his native Canada. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $30 to $40 in advance. Benjamin Leatherman
Barns Courtney at Crescent BallroomBarns Courtney knows a thing or two about perseverance. The 31-year-old has been dropped from labels, cheated out of money and left without a home. But the former computer software salesman didn't stop chasing his dream. And in 2015, Courtney's name began populating music charts, radio stations, and even major motion picture soundtracks. His raspy vocals, genuine talent, and nod to early R&B make his first few albums a must-listen. In late 2020, Courtney released Hard to Be Alone, a four-song EP recorded during the pandemic. Its tracks encompass a range of emotions, including shades of subdued loneliness and sorrowful regret, much like what we were all feeling while enduring life under lockdown. He’s back on the road on his Out With the Old tour and will play Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue on Wednesday, March 23. Tickets for the 8 p.m. gig are $22 to $122. Diamond Rodrigue and Benjamin Leatherman
Modern English at The Rebel Lounge
If you ever wanna piss off an ’80s New Waver, refer to England’s Modern English as a one-hit-wonder. Sure, the band gained a heaping helping of new fans when their song, “I Melt with You” was used in the 1983 movie Valley Girl. The song, of course, preceded the movie, but let a whole new crop of folks hear Modern English’s style, which took New Wave sensibilities to the darker side with a brooding nature and an edgy post-punk push. Their ability to exude that haunting element got them signed early on to the 4AD label, home to other big goth acts like Bauhaus and Dead Can Dance. More than four decades later, Modern English is still going strong. They took a break in the ’90s, and there have been some roster changes here and there, but it’s currently most of their original lineup (minus drummer Richard Brown) in action. Catch them in concert on Sunday, March 27, at the Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road. Doors are at 7 p.m. and admission is $25. Amy Young
Brother Ali at Crescent BallroomBrother Ali commands the stage like a political figure, only one who's less concerned with appearance and more concerned with the impact of his speech. In the sometimes nihilistic rap world, Ali has remained a lyricist with purpose, whether it's political, social, or personal. Ali has a remarkable presence that is composed and venerable yet friendly and approachable. He's humble but still utterly confident and self-assured, which reflects in his powerfully uplifting lyrics. His delivery is almost like a pastor's sermon: fiery, impassioned, and with a soulful voice that hangs on his most important words, but amazingly, he rarely sounds preachy or condescending. His passion for hip-hop is palpable. And that's really what Brother Ali seems to want – to enliven people, to make them question themselves, but still allow them to love themselves, to perpetually push into spaces of uncertainty and gray area, because that's where life really occurs. His current tour comes to Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday, March 30, with Mally and DJ Last Word providing support. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20 to $79. Noah Hubbell
Bon Iver at Mesa AmphitheatreIt’s hard to believe, but it’s been 15 years since Justin Vernon, the pride of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, released his seminal debut album as Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago. The iconic folk album, shrouded in log cabin lore and recorded in the dead of winter, introduced the world to Vernon’s tender and at times haunting falsetto, as well as his beautiful soundscapes, which have developed into synth-laden, glitchy, experimental electronica, as heard on his 2016 release 22, A Million. Later this month, Vernon will kick off his latest tour at Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 North Center Street, on Wednesday, March 30. Expect to hear songs from his most recent album, 2019’s I,I, as well as tunes from Bon Iver’s 2011 self-titled album, as the tour is celebrating its 10-year anniversary and upcoming rerelease. R&B/soul musician Dijon opens the 6:30 p.m. concert. Tickets are $65 to $85. Mikel Galicia
Editor's Note: This story has been updated since its original publication with new details regarding multiple shows and festivals.